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ICRC budget to remain unchanged in 2010

The Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross is seeking SFr1.1 billion ($1.1 billion) to cover its operations next year, the same budget it had in 2009.

Presenting the organisation's 2010 budget in Geneva, ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said that while overall projected expenditure would remain virtually unchanged compared with 2009, spending on medical activities would increase by seven per cent.

"The additional funds will be used mainly to expand field hospital capacities in Pakistan, as well as to improve access to primary health care and first aid, and to increase support for limb-fitting centres in countries like Afghanistan," he said.

Afghanistan is projected to become the ICRC's biggest humanitarian operation (SFr86 million), followed by Iraq (SFr85 million) and Sudan (SFr76 million).

The ICRC also appealed for SFr173 million in donations for its headquarters in Geneva.

"This budget is based on our current evaluation of humanitarian needs in the countries where we work," Kellenberger said. "However, should the situation significantly deteriorate in one of the areas we cover we would ask for additional funding."

Statistics show that, in 2008, some 3.5 million people benefited from ICRC-supported healthcare facilities. and agencies


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